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16 Jan 2015

WRX: Stohl with Pucher

Category: News, WRX Posted 16.01.15 10:30 by

Yesterday it was announced that a two-car team, lead by former WRC star Manfred Stohl, will enter the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship. Joining Stohl in the all-new World RX Team Austria will be team owner and driver Max Pucher.

 

The announcement was made in Vienna in front of more than 60 media and VIP guests where Pucher confirmed the team will contest all 12 Championship rounds at the wheel of two Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST SuperCars prepared by Stohl Racing. The car was presented to guests following a press conference which was also attended by World RX’s Managing Director Martin Anayi.

Manfred Stohl, son of Austrian former Rally ace Rudi Stohl, is best known for his Rallying exploits, but first got a taste for Rallycross when he won last year’s ‘Race Of Austrian Champions’ (ROAC) at the Rallycross venue PS Racing Center in Greinbach in Pucher’s ex-OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta Mk7 SuperCar. The racer from Groß Enzersdorf was then invited by reigning World RX Champion Petter Solberg to join the Norwegian’s PSRX Team for the season Finale in Argentina. Stohl reached the Semi-Finals, but after an accident failed to make it through to the Final.

 

Yesterday evening one of the team's Ford Fiesta Mk7 Rallycross SuperCars was revealed in Vienna. © Kristian Bissuti/ERC24

Yesterday evening one of the team’s Ford Fiesta Mk7 Rallycross SuperCars was revealed in Vienna. © Kristian Bissuti/ERC24

 

Manfred Stohl raced the ex-OMSE Ford Fiesta Mk7 SuperCar of Max Pucher to victory in the 2014 'Race Of Austrian Champions'. © Michael Zouhar/ERC24

Manfred Stohl raced the ex-OMSE Ford Fiesta Mk7 SuperCar of Max Pucher to victory in the 2014 ROAC event. © Michael Zouhar/ERC24

 

“When Max [Pucher] and I had first contact, he immediately told me about his dream and vision to eventually bring an Austrian team to World RX,” explained Stohl, who was crowned the WRC’s Group N Champion in the year 2000.“It was difficult to get the money together initially and without Max’s commitment this project would never have happened. I am very pleased that he chose Stohl Racing to also be the builder of our Ford Fiesta SuperCars; I am certain that we will race state-of-the-art technology and will be in the thick of the action.”

Team owner Pucher added: “Rallycross drivers are the new gladiators. The World RX promoter IMG has created a crowd-pleasing format and fast, driver-to-driver combat. The action on both gravel and asphalt is very exciting and creates the perfect motorsport arena. I believe it is the safest motorsport out there and it costs a fraction of a WRC participation, which makes it perfect for teams and sponsors who also get a great cost-to-advertising value ratio. World RX is destined to become one of the most popular motorsport championships. I am very proud to have Manfred as a teammate and to bring the first Austrian team to World RX.”

 

For the 2014 World RX Finale in Argentina Manfred Stohl teamed up with World Champion Petter Solberg. © PSRX/ERC24

For the 2014 World RX Finale in Argentina Manfred Stohl teamed up with World Champion Petter Solberg. © PSRX/ERC24

 

Racing the 2013 Citroën DS3 SuperCar of Petter Solberg in Argentina Manfred Stohl had to give up in his Semi-Final. © PSRX/ERC24

Racing the 2013 Citroën DS3 SuperCar of Petter Solberg in Argentina Manfred Stohl had to give up in his Semi-Final. © PSRX/ERC24

 

Martin Anayi, World RX Managing Director for IMG Motorsports, concluded: “It is a pleasure to welcome our first Austrian team to World RX, and we’re very excited to announce a new World Championship team so early in the 2015 season. Manfred made an impressive debut in Argentina, and he is a great personality to have on board. We are witnessing a growing number of Rally drivers trying World RX and it will be interesting to watch Manfred battle against Petter again, whom he competed against in WRC. I have been very impressed with the professionalism and commitment of World RX Team Austria and it is fantastic to see so many Austrian media attend the team’s press launch today. On behalf of the IMG Motorsport team, I look forward to welcoming both Max and Manfred to RX in 2015, and wish them the best of luck in both the Drivers’ and Team Championships.”

 

Top photo: Team owner Pucher and ex-WRC ace Stohl are ready to represent Austria in World RX. © Kristian Bissuti/ERC24